Zayas, Alfredo (älfrāˈħō säˈyäs) [key], 1861–1934, president of Cuba (1921–25). He was one of the leaders of the Liberal party from the founding of the republic and was vice president (1909–13) under José Miguel Gómez. He was defeated for the presidency in 1912 and 1916 by Mario G. Menocal. He and Gómez quarreled violently, and it was with Menocal's help that Zayas defeated Gómez for the presidency in 1920. The election was denounced as fraudulent, and the United States intervened to prevent civil war. In the chaotic conditions following the collapse of the sugar market, Enoch J. Crowder, representing the United States, restored financial order. However, as soon as some balance was attained Zayas entered on an administration that was almost universally criticized as weak, wasteful, and corrupt. When he failed to get the presidential nomination in 1924, he supported Gerardo Machado.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.